For Poets United, who asked for words about gifts, a different take.
MY GIFT TO YOU THIS THANKSGIVING: The gift of awareness, of the lies we have been taught in our schools, of the ways we can open our eyes and take action, even this late in Gaia’s game.
Call me a spoilsport, but, speaking as a person whose ancestors (ugh) came over on the (yikes) Mayflower (apologies to all Native Americans), the Thanksgiving we celebrate every year never happened. Actually, while the indigenous peoples taught the invaders (Columbus didn’t “discover” America, after all) how to plant the seeds and cultivate crops, as well as introducing them to the most hallowed of all indigenous creatures, the turkey… The Anglos paid back by enslaving their hosts, cheating them out of land “rights.”
Native Americans didn’t understand the concept of land ownership – although there were vague understandings of tribal boundaries, tribes would emigrate to the South during cold months and travel North for the yearly planting and hunting. They felt they were guests on this earth, and they treated the environment with much respect, always thinking generations ahead.
It has taken little more than two hundred years for our European ancestors to lay waste to most of this country. Even the pristeen wild fields are now endangered by hydrofracturing (creating earthquakes in order to release “natural gas.” It’s only natural if it’s underground, where it belongs… and drilling through bedrock and water tables is polluting millions of gallons of our only sources of potable water. Soon, you may see yourself buying it all from the Big Guys, who are bottling it out from under us as we speak.).
SO WHY GIVE THANKS? Because we have choices, voices. We can stop war, stop the rape of our environment, stop all the destruction, if only we get off our butts after Black Friday and Turkey Day and the ensuing football games.
WE CAN HOLD OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE. And yes, that includes President Obama, who needs to be reminded that there is no such thing as “clean coal,” same as “natural gas.” We need to start hunkering down on AMERICAN-MADE solar panels and wind turbines, get them onto the main power grid. We can work for better conditions for the people “on the rez,” from whom we stole the land in the first place.
We need to honor this country, the country we praise, this precious land, the reason we give thanks in the first place.
I will be taking a break this weekend to count my blessings (especially for my community of poets, my groups of rowdy activists, and the results of the last election, as well as Lex, Riley, and my wonderful birth family and family through two marriages). And I will be reading, only. Catching up on what others have commented on my blog, reading work on sites to which I have contributed but whose lists of poets I have not completely read.
Peace now – action to come… Amy
Sherry Blue Sky
November 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm
Oh you sing it, girl. You are singing the song of my heart. I wrote this morning about the old growth being clearcut at the edge of my town. We are totally on the same page. Here’s my link: http://stardreamingwithsherrybluesky.blogspot.ca/2012/11/mclaughlin-ridge.html
November 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm
Where’s the short term profit in your proposal Amy? The aim is to have a wad of money tucked away so we can burn in hell for what we have done and continue to do. Luckily we don’t have Thanksgiving in Australia we don’t need it, should we thank the Chinese for buying all our resources so we can buy their shoddy manufactured goods while our industries die and our land is bought by other foreigners to exploit? All we have is freedom but I am not sure what that means anymore.
Sharp Little Pencil
November 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm
Robin, he he, wad of cash = fuel for the fire! Loved the “short term profit” angle. As for Australia, I know that’s another ball of wax, the Aboriginal peoples… we never seem to get it right…
November 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm
I wish for you and yours, Amelita, un buen fin de semana y Dios te Bendiga.
Kelly O'Sullivan (HILWD)
November 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm
“Peace now – action to come… ”
You speak such truth, Amy.
November 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm
amen. so true….and in my history class we talk about the reality of our nation and its roots….and we should give thanks for the voices we have been given, the ones that fought to give it to us (yes, i abhor war but…) and its our duty to use those voices to make a difference…
November 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm
Great Post Amy, and so true, there is no clean coal, the world needs to do something now, we have to in this decade or this fight will be lost. I know in Queensland solar panels have been embraced, so much so the need of electricity has dropped significantly. Wind turbines are having a big impact too. It’s heartening to see. Also fight to save your mangroves, they sequester almost half the carbon humanity emits…and their destruction adds ten times more. (just my little note ;)) Hope you have a lovely thanksgiving and you have inspired me to do more to make my voice heard in this part of the world. 😉
November 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm
Amen, amen Sister Amy!! Write, participate, call, let your voice be heard. Great write, and I love that title 🙂 Thank you!!
November 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm
damn, you’re good! you cover at all, and put it right in its place, with an economy of words I admire. enjoy your peace – you (we all) deserve it.
November 22, 2012 at 5:02 am
A lot to think about; a lot to figure out what to do about; a lot to do. The action needs to happen now. And much is. Thank you for this clear focus.
November 22, 2012 at 7:36 am
But the Pilgrim hats are so CUTE… Nah, I’m with you, Amy. And as Malcolm X once said, “we didn’t land on Plymouth Rock; Plymouth Rock landed on us!”
November 22, 2012 at 7:49 am
Can I skip the football, please? I could do extra eating, to make up for it, if necessary.
Happy Thanksgiving, my feisty friend. Keep keepin’ ’em honest.
November 22, 2012 at 10:02 am
Whatever you do Amy… you do it with such panache. Everything you’ve said is truth. Enjoy your day with your loved ones.
November 23, 2012 at 11:49 pm
Well Said Amy! I love you on a soap box, saying so much of what needs to be said~ Happy Thanksgiving….it should be everyday…we are thankful and strive for a better world 😀
November 24, 2012 at 12:42 am
You’ve said it Amy. We experienced the same over here in many ways. There are those who plunder the environment and left others by the wayside. The force of greed knows no bounds. Glad that you brought it out in the open! Enjoy your sojourn with the family!
November 26, 2012 at 8:20 am
No argument from the land from whence your ancestors came with anything here, Amy!